Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Confused by 'rules' of new relationship

(36 Posts)
lorna111 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:36:10

I met somebody online a couple of weeks before Christmas and we really hit it off, we saw each other quite regularly over the first few weeks and all seemed to be going great. I liked him, and he was really, really keen. We slept with each other after about date four. He was quite open about his impending divorce, and the fact that he'd only moved out five months before, although his marriage had been pretty miserable for a long time. Anyway, after a couple of weeks of lovely stuff, the usual story seemed to emerge and he backed off, sent fewer messages and wasn't so quick to get in touch etc. I was quite direct about asking him why etc, and to be fair, he was very open with me and happy to communicate, but admitted he wasn't ready to get into a serious relationship - but that he really liked me and wanted to stay good friends. I was pretty gutted (largely hid this from him) but respected what he said. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we've stayed in touch - we now text probably every other day or so, only light stuff mainly - and we've been out a couple of times. A week ago, I invited him over for a casual meal at mine and we ended up having sex, and he stayed the night. More messages in the week, then we went out again on Friday and again, we had sex. All very affectionate and nice BUT the friends thing has completely thrown me. I suppose I want it to be more, and I feel disappointed we're not 'seeing' each other in the way I understand this to work. Maybe I'm just being old fashioned! I don't know if I'm just being used for sex (he lives pretty close to me). I was married for 15 years and am just not used to this casual kind of thing. Stuff like I'd like to call him sometimes but feel like I can't. Feel like I can't make any plans to do stuff with him in case he freaks out. It's my birthday soon (he knows this) but I feel like I can't suggest anything in case he thinks I'm being too much. Ridiculous I know.

In the meantime, I've checked online and he hasn't been on the same site for ages, has taken his profile down and besides he really doesn't seem like the shagging around type.

I suppose I'm unclear how to 'play' things - is this just normal dating for 2 fortysomethings with kids and commitments etc, or is it reasonable to expect more commitment at this stage?

Would appreciate any thoughts!

Creatureofthenight Sun 15-Jan-17 20:39:26

Sounds like he thinks you are friends with benefits.

TheZeppo Sun 15-Jan-17 20:45:39

He has told you exactly what he wants. I'd back right off- you can't be friends with someone you have feelings for.

What do they say? When someone tells you who they are, listen.

AthenasOwl Sun 15-Jan-17 20:50:56

Stop having sex with him. He wants to be friends. He doesn't get to have sex with you. I think you're selling yourself short because you clearly would like a relationship.
Don't settle for crumbs.

jeaux90 Sun 15-Jan-17 20:54:25

Its like a friends with benefits situation. I had one of these for a while. Very affectionate etc get on really well but neither of us wanted a serious relationship. He'll take what you offer because as far as he in concerned he has admonished himself by telling you he doesn't want a serious relationship.

RatherBeRiding Sun 15-Jan-17 20:55:19

He's still married, not been separated that long, you've been dating a month or so - maybe it's all moving a bit fast for him?

Sounds as though he's having a good time with you but it really is a bit early in a new relationship to be expecting any kind of commitment.

Play it by ear?

Bant Sun 15-Jan-17 21:06:18

So what are you looking for, OP?

I think lots of people who get out of a long term relationship/marriage are either looking for a FWB, or are looking for a replacement relationship and are surprised that they're thin on the ground.

Fwb can grow into something more. As long as it's exclusive, then it's just a slow burning relationship, isn't it? Like many people had in their teens and twenties?

I'd just check to see if he's seeing other people and then see if you're okay with going slowly. Otherwise you're forcing the pace, and when men do that its seen as overbearing and wrong.

If you want more, and he can't give it to you, then move on. It's only been a month, albeit an intense one

lorna111 Sun 15-Jan-17 21:06:26

Thanks all. Sensible advice. Yes, I think I need to back off, I will otherwise end up getting a bit frazzled over it. So hard though, isn't it, when you like someone...

lorna111 Sun 15-Jan-17 21:08:45

Good point Bant. The seeing other people thing is a big indicator and would be a total deal breaker for me. We haven't been in this situation for very long so I haven't had the chance to ask him - but I will.

Bant Sun 15-Jan-17 21:23:31

It's a wise thing to do, especially with online dating. There are no set rules, or expectations, plus there is the sweet shop mentality.

Someone can be kept on a back burner while they're looking for the Best Thing Possible. And some people fall massively for someone as soon as they reply to a message and can string two words together. There's no judgment or advice from mutual friends, like there used to be in the old days when you met someone in real life, so..

Get it communicated clearly, judge his response, and decide whether it's ok for you.

WarmFunKindStrong Sun 15-Jan-17 22:20:44

As previous posters have said: he doesn't want a relationship, he has said he wants to be friends. Do not continue to chase him, trying to 'win' him over.

You are finding this difficult, which is understandable, as he is being affectionate and sleeping with you.

IMO, this is not going to grow into a relationship.

Leave him be. Find someone who wants what you want.

BumDNC Sun 15-Jan-17 22:25:17

It's not that likely he will change his mind the longer you stay in contact. He's made his position clear and thinks you are cool with it. It's ok not to be. I think he's just not right for you and you need to walk away. There isn't much to hang on to

LesisMiserable Sun 15-Jan-17 22:26:32

First of all you're not being used for sex. You're completely compliant.

He has said he doesn't want a relationship and has backed off from that. He wants to be friends. He came round and you had sex willingly. He's ok with that because he's stated that he's not looking at a relationship. If you're not ok with it then you can't be friends, because well, you're not friends. You're relative strangers.

TheNaze73 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:28:38

You'll never win him over.

He's just after something casual. Enjoy

Gallavich Sun 15-Jan-17 22:31:15

You've only been dating a month! Yes you are unreasonable to expect commitment, you're still in the casual getting to know you phase. If you think he's not interested in anything beyond casual then end it if that's not what you want, but he's not done anything wrong tbh.

intheairthatnightfernando Sun 15-Jan-17 22:39:40

Hi. This doesn't sound an easy situation for you. No, that's not what new relationships should feel like when you're 40. If it's the start of something both people need to be willing to give it a chance to get off the ground. He doesn't sound like he's doing that. You'll meet someone who doesn't make you feel that hesitant, stressed way. This isn't right for you from what you've said. I think move on before you get further involved and upset.

BumDNC Sun 15-Jan-17 22:41:01

It's actually ok for someone to be honest and say they don't want a serious relationship I can't see he has led you on in any way. The time to walk away was when he said he didn't want the same as what you wanted

lorna111 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:41:27

Thanks all. To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm expecting - I'm pretty new to the whole dating thing, done lots of dates through OLD but most of this has never gone past the first date as I'm pretty (very) choosy.

I certainly don't want to move in with the guy, or spend every living moment with him, we both have our own lives, kids, fairly big jobs etc, and I really don't feel the need to hear from him constantly by phone or text. So maybe casual is fine. But I think it's the lack of clarity around it that bothers me, and whether he's seeing other women, of course. Being unsure of the parameters is just messing with my head a bit, probably because I like him. And maybe ultimately he's just not really that interested.

Sweets101 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:44:16

Ask him

BumDNC Sun 15-Jan-17 22:44:38

He really is telling you this is casual sex. He's firmly told you it's friends and then has taken up the benefits on offer. You haven't been honest about what you would like. It's totally ok for you to say you would like something that has a chance of progression and not to be friend zoned into casual hook up.

It's not even about him not liking you, he doesn't want the commitment. So inviting him to things will not be part of the friend deal he thinks you are ok with

Thinkingofausername1 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:45:39

Bet he is married. A guy used that trick with my sister once despite, knowing she wanted something serious. Such a dick!!!

InfoFreako Sun 15-Jan-17 22:48:56

The guy is still married and has said he doesn't want another serious relationship.

I would play it cool and (as others have said) stop sleeping with him unless you're happy for it to be a FWB relationship.

Otherwise you may start to lose your self-respect.


Frankelly66 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:51:40

unless you can look at it as casual only then back off. The more time you spend with him the more you will grow to like him and he just isn't ready which is understandable. There will be someone just as good when timing is right. But there is no harm catching up once a week if you are enjoying yourself? Just I wouldn't spend the week thinking of him, texting etc. literally just look at is for what it is. hopefully that makes some sense!

lorna111 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:51:46

No, he's definitely not married - I've been to his post split pad, it's very much just him!

Hesitant and stressed is a good way to describe it intheairfernando. Totally ridiculous.

I think I need to remember that yes, actually it's fine to want something more.

BumDNC Sun 15-Jan-17 22:54:08

It is totally fine to want more. Totally.
But you are pretending you are all cool with this when you aren't.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now